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VINE VOICEon July 30, 2009
The last novel Sara was in Beyond Reach should have been called Shattered for what it did to the readers-- very few novels have that shocking of an ending. We now know what the writer is capable of -- it was merciful of her not to bring Sara back in the last book. I only opened her last book Fractured reluctantly. A year was not enough to get over it. Apparently Karin Slaughter had not gotten over it yet either, because she sauntered off to a different area of Georgia to reprise the deeply flawed characters of Will Trent and Faith Mitchell from Triptych.

This book, Undone, brings all of these characters together in Atlanta.

Will and Faith are locked in a stormy partnership, part-friendship, part-bickering sibling style. They come to police work from wildly divergent backgrounds, Will after being raised in the orphanage in Georgia, Faith after struggling most of her life after having given birth to a child at the age of 15. Will struggles with dyslexia that makes it virtually impossible for him to read without the aids he has built into his life. Faith works on coming to terms with two heath issues that present themselves immediately in this book: diabetes and pregnancy, which bring her right into Sara's new world, the ER in Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Sara left Grant County when she discovered that she could no longer survive in the places where Jeffrey had ever been.

Karin Slaughter is a master of characterization. This is a description of Will and Faith's boss, Amanda Wagner: "She favored monochromatic power suits with skirts that hit below her knee and stockings that showed off the definition of what Will had to admit were remarkably good calves for a woman he often thought of as the Antichrist."

This book is a thriller to its very core. Karin Slaughter is a master of this genre and brings to her books a gritty realism that is brilliant and earth-shattering.
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on July 19, 2009
I am not the type to typically write reviews, but this book was so amazing that I decided I had to write something.

I started this book off after reading a new series of books that had nothing to do with mysteries or crime solving, I was taking a break from this type of book for awhile after finding myself growing tired of them. I decided to read this book after a long wait, because I really was curious to what would happen to Sara.

I was worried I couldn't get into the book, because of growing tired of this genre, but I found myself unable to put the book down after I purchased the book and finished it within days of buying it.

I have read all the Grant County and Will Trent books and I have been looking for to this one for a long time after the big surprise at the end of the last Grant County book.

When I first read she was combining the two series, I have to say I was surprised and not exactly excited with the decision. I didn't think the outcome would be lived up to either series on it's own, but I was actually surprised how it turned out and I found myself enjoying the book more than some of the others in the earlier Grant County series.

I thought Karin Slaughter did a great job of mixing the characters together in a believable fashion and I really felt connected to each one of them.

I do agree that Sara didn't get as many pages in the book as I would have liked her to have, but I don't think that made or broke the book. I keep thinking over and over how she could have gotten more pages and with what happened to her at the end of the last book, I really don't see a way she could have.

I feel Will and Faith brought enlightenment to Sara and hopefully that enlightenment will help her get back to her old life and make her a bigger part of the next book.

As for this book though, I thought Karin Slaughter did a good job of mixing the characters together, it's not always about who gets the biggest part in the book but the ones you found yourself loving and wanting to read more about and I found myself connected the most to Sara.

The mystery or crime in the book that needed to be solved was graphic, but not to graphic and had your heart aching for the victims. I don't want to put any spoilers here, but no matter how the victims acted, you still found yourself mourning for them.

As always the bad guy in the book was someone I didn't expect, yet right there in front of your eyes from the beginning.

I would definitely recommend this book if you have read any of the other books, I have to say I was very surprised by the ending once again like I was with the last book in the Grant County series.

I found myself almost unable to finish the book with the big twist at the end. I will admit I almost cried and any book that brings out such emotion in someone deserves 5 stars.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
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VINE VOICEon July 26, 2009
Like many other readers, I was very surprised by the ending of Slaughter's Grant County novel a couple of books back in which a series lead character - Jeffrey Tolliver - was killed, leaving his counterpart Sara Linton a grieving widow.

Well, Sara's back in this novel, along with Slaughter's other parallel series duo from the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) Will Trent and Faith Mitchell.

I have very mixed feelings about this book, to be honest. I think Slaughter's a tremendously talented writer; I also think it was a very gutsy move in the earlier book to kill off Jeffrey. She probably knew this wouldn't sit well with many of her fans, and judging by that book's review on this site, she was right. But she did it anyway.

I think that's also a very artistic choice, because now we'll never know if a lead character's safe in any book she writes going forward, and that certainly adds dramatic tension to the story. A lead character can actually die... think about that! You KNOW when you read a book featuring Mitch Rapp, Jack Reacher, Lucas Davenport, Harry Bosch, or any of the others that no matter HOW bad the situation is in which they find themselves, they're ultimately going to emerge from the other end alive.

You can't say that any longer about a Slaughter character, can you?

Also on the upside, the plot of this book was very clever and cunningly executed; I was surprised at the denouement. The clues were there, but even though I'm a devotee of this genre, I hadn't figured it out.

However, I do have some nits to pick.

First of all, to set the background, Slaughter writes very strong female characters. Some are appealing, some not. That's fine; no problem. In the Tolliver/Linton series, Sara's appealing, Lena's a pain in the tukus (though I happen to like her). In the GBI series, Faith, Angie and GBI honcho Amanda are all also tough as nails. Actually, I think this gives one some insight into Slaughter's own personality, interestingly enough. Faith and Amanda are both very appealing in their own ways, while Angie's a demon in a dress.

In the Tolliver/Linton series, Jeffrey kept Lena on a strong and short leash, which made for a very interesting dynamic. But in the GBI series, Will Trent is completely p-whipped by Angie. Now, that works for a while, but here's where the problem arises for me.

Trent is already a case of "damaged goods", being dyslexic and emotionally stunted due to his background as an orphanage veteran. To be honest, I have a hard time believing he's as disabled as he is and yet still managed to go through training to become a peace officer - with firearms privileges at that - or even have passed a driving license test. If you can't read, how do you pass the written test for a license?

But even putting that aside, we've now seen him in three books, and his obsession with Evil Angie is starting to become tiresome, to be honest... particularly as it was used in a pretty manipulative and unbelievable fashion to delay the revelation of a vital clue in this story. She's a cop, and would endanger a potential victim just to play mind games with him? And even after that, he wouldn't boot her butt out the door for good?

PUH-LEEZE!

This is the same problem I have with the "Beauty Killer" trilogy by Chelsea Cain. Enough with the total wimpdom of the character, with no progress over a series of books covering an appreciable time frame. In order to stay interesting - and believable - characters have to change over time just like real people do. None of us are frozen in amber.

I, for one, am totally done with Trent's being mesmerized by Angie. Time for him to develop as a character, move forward in some way, either admitting his total vulnerability to her and just giving up, or tossing her completely out of his life.

But something has to change. His unbelievable dyslexia coupled with his whippedness just makes him too static and boring a character to continue unchanged.
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on May 23, 2011
This is exactly the same book as "Undone " . Do not be tricked like I was to buy it thinking it was a new title by Slaughter.
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on August 22, 2012
I just discovered Karin Slaughter, and as most of you know, there's nothing as good as finding a "new" (to you) author who has many books already published. No "waiting for the next one to come out" anxiety!
Before I had finished "Fractured" I KNEW I had to have "Undone"...and I wasn't disappointed. Slaughter came through for me again, with excellent suspense and a great cast of characters brought to life flawlessly and with depth.

Having never read the 'Grant County' series, I was afraid the reintroduction of Sara Linton would either confuse me (because I'd never heard of her) or mess up what I think is great chemistry between my favorite Georgia detectives Will Trent and Faith Mitchell. But the author works these three characters together seamlessly. *for more about these characters, please see my (or anyone's) reviews of earlier novels. It should also be noted that you need NOT know the backgrounds of these characters to enjoy this book. Yes, it is part of a series, but EACH BOOK STANDS ALONE JUST FINE!

I've recommended "Undone" to friends, but always with a warning: this is a tale of a dark, violent, SERIOUSLY twisted sociopath and Ms. Slaughter doesn't pull her punches. The book doesn't include ACTS of torture or violence, but certainly & thoroughly DESCRIBES the aftermath. The author's villain in this mystery/suspense novel is BEYOND demented and sadistic.

Ms. Slaughter, I am learning, is an expert at leading her readers in so many directions--all connected, yet separate-- that during "Undone", at one time or another, I was SURE that everyone but the cops was the "guy who did it". And ya gotta love a crime novel that you can't figure out til the end!
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on February 19, 2015
The first half of this book was very similar in style to the 1st & 2nd books in the Will Trent series: A very tight plot that unfolds at just the right pace as the reader learns more about each intriguing and complex character. Even the smallest event was included for a very specific reason even if its significance doesn't become apparent until much later in the story. But half way through, this book comes "undone!" The characters become caricatures of themselves, and their dialogue becomes filled with such easy and tiresome cliches, no matter how unnatural it sounds coming from these characters! The plot begins to unravel and then absolutely disintegrates into one absurd event after another until I found myself laughing out loud or groaning or rolling my eyes! There are so many mistakes in continuity, and the writing is downright sloppy and repetitive. It's as if, half-way through this book, each individual involved in some aspect of the publication process took a random turn at writing one or two chapters - without having read the first half. Hugely disappointing novel from someone I had thought was a gifted author after reading the first 2 books in this series!!! This will definitely be the LAST book I read by this author. What a shame! Time to move on ........
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on July 29, 2009
I was glued to the first 3/4 of the book, then it all just fell apart. It was like Karin had some great ideas, then just ran out of steam and didn't know how to finish it!

The story didn't flow or make sense, & it was like another author decided to write the last few chapters. It stated the killer was a religious fanatic, but never tied up his beliefs. The anorexia? What was the point of that? It was put in like that was why he picked his victims- but then all of a sudden it was really irrelevant that they were anorexic. Same way the website was supposed to be a clue, but then it became redundant too. The FBI could never get the website password?? Who cares? -Well, no one other than the readers who kept hearing about a website that didn't even really mean much.

As for Sara & that stupid letter? Why bring it up the whole way through the book, then never tell us what it said? If you wanted the reader to be filled with suspense & buy the next book- bring the letter up during the last few chapters, rather than bore everyone about it for 2-3 hours of reading.

Man, I was really disappointed. All her books so far have been fantastic, but this one was a let down at the end. Am I going to buy another one of her books? Yes, but if the ending collapses like this one- then never again.

Did anyone else feel let down ?? Was Karin sick the last few days and ask someone else to finish it?
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on May 27, 2015
UNDONE, is the sixth novel by Karin Slaughter that I have read and it might very well be her best. Starting slowly the story builds to a crescendo of tension about half way through and doesn’t let up. The venue for the story is the city of Atlanta. The two main protagonists, Will Trent, a GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) detective who struggles with dyslexia and reads at a 2nd-grade-level but whose perceptive personality make him a topnotch investigator, and Faith Mitchell, Will’s sidekick detective who had an out of wedlock child at 15-years-of-age, bring this story to life. Faith tries to come to terms with serious and job-threatening health issues that she won’t reveal even to Will. I liked the way Slaughter merges the other characters into the mix—Sara, the sexy and personable doctor and potential love interest for Will, and Amanda, the deputy GBI chief and boss from hell. The author’s vivid description of torture of the female victims leaves little to the imagination. Slaughter has done a masterful job of placing the reader into the middle of this mélange. My only complaint of her writing is that she goes overboard with lengthy, repetitive and often boring narrative descriptions. Karin Slaughter is indeed a talented writer. I look forward to more of her novels building on the same colorful characters.
I recommend the book and give it a rating of 4+ stars.
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VINE VOICEon September 2, 2009
Undone begins a few years after the events described in Beyond Reach. Sarah Linton has moved to Atlanta, lives in a loft with two greyhounds, and is working as an ER physician. She crosses paths with Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent when she attends to a female patient who has been severely injured and tortured. As Will and his partner Faith track the killer, Sarah slowly begins to come back to life.

It is hard to review Undone objectively, because like many of her readers I was very angry with Karin Slaughter at the conclusion of Beyond Reach. Although Undone is marketed as a Grant County novel, the only connection to the series is Sarah - Undone feels more like the start of a completely new series. As a standalone novel Undone is Slaughter's best work in years. The atrocities inflicted by the bad guy are truly horrific, and the book is painfully suspenseful throughout its 400+ pages. As with her portrayal of Lena, Slaughter proves herself masterful at creating complex characters who are deeply wounded and personally flawed, but able to exorcise some of their demons through their work.

The only thing that bothered me about this book was the ending. There was a Batman-style cliff hanger at the end that left me feeling that I was being manipulated into buying the next book. After sticking with Slaughter following Beyond Reach I thought as a reader I deserved better. However, if I put myself in the shoes of a new reader who had not read any of the previous Grant County novels I imagine that I would not be so bothered..... like I said, it is hard to be objective.
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VINE VOICEon August 2, 2009
I've been a pretty harsh critic of Slaughter in the past. I haven't particularly liked some of her other books, but I actually did like BEYOND REACH even though it managed to anger many of her other fans, and was looking forward to UNDONE.

Slaughter doesn't fail to disappoint me with this new effort and I don't mean that in a good way. She truly loves to brutalize her female characters and does so to maximum effect in this one. The whole thing concerning the trash bags is really awful, and doesn't even play a meaningful part to the story. Also, as another reviewer pointed out, there is far too much internal reflection among the characters. After a while, they just became whiney babies and I'd had enough.

I also can't help feeling that there is something missing here. I can't put my finger on it but it's as if something was edited out of the story that would have made it a more interesting thriller - in other words, it would have made a bit more sense. Plus, I had a hard time believing Trent could be in the position he's in and not be able to read or tell left from right. Yes, I realize its fiction, but still...

Having said that, I was interested in the book and thought Slaughter did a clever job of making even the victims here unlikable. That's not an easy thing to do. But for those "Grant County" fans who are thinking this is Sara's story. You will be disappointed. She is really a side character here.
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